Joan Laporta continues without explaining about the Negreira case. Still without giving details about the payments of more than seven million euros to José María Enríquez Negreira, vice president of the Referee Technical Committee (CTA) until 2018, the president of Barcelona has only shown two types of responses. One to limit his responsibility during his first term (2003-2010). “These reports were made with the corresponding invoice and had documentary and video support,” he defended himself. The other, more repeated, is used to victimize the club. “I really want to face all the scoundrels who are staining our shield,” Laporta stressed.
In the Camp Nou Auditorium 1899, in front of all the captains of Barcelona’s professional sections, Laporta showed his most political side, especially his most persuasive, to harangue the leaders of the different club teams. “Barcelona sentiment cannot be bought or sold, but it doesn’t get dirty either. There are some ferocious attacks to dirty our shield, which have nothing to do with reality”, stated the president. And he added: “They won’t succeed because the Barça captains represent our values and our feelings and you show it on the field of play when you give your skin and every last drop of blood.”
Last Friday, the Prosecutor’s Office denounced that the million-dollar payments were made with the aim of Negreira “carrying out actions tending to favor FC Barcelona in the decision-making of the referees in the matches that the club played, and thus in the results of the competitions”. Two days later, an unexpected actor appeared: Real Madrid. Partners in the Super League and after not signing the joint statement of all the LaLiga teams to show their “rejection” in the Negreira Case, the entity chaired by Florentino Pérez issued a statement in which he assured that he would appear as an affected party in the case – as soon as the judge opens it to the injured parties – and expressed his “deep concern about the seriousness of the facts.” But Madrid is not the only one who announced that he will appear in the case. So will the Higher Sports Council (CSD). “It is a very ugly issue, it worries us and it is a discredit for Spanish sport and football,” announced José Manuel Franco, president of the CSD.
“It also happens that some, motivated by envy, try to erode our reputation with campaigns carried out in bad faith,” Laporta insists against Busquets, Putellas and company. The Prosecutor’s Office, which has requested that Luis Enrique and Ernesto Valverde testify as witnesses in the Negreira case, accuses two former Barcelona presidents, Josep Maria Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell, of the crimes of unfair administration and documentary falsification. The complaint, in any case, also leaves Laporta in the pillory, who during his first term increased payments to Negreira. In his only statement before the Tax Agency, the former referee stated that he was hired because Barça wanted to ensure “neutral” arbitrations, which would not harm them. “You can be sure that the board of directors that I have the honor of chairing will defend him with all our might,” Laporta concluded.
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